Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Highlights of 2017

As with any other year, 2017 was a roller coaster ride. There were great things and not so great things that happened the entire year. But, I would like to focus on the good experiences that 2017 has brought us.

I must say that this year is full of surprises. First quarter of the year, my favorite cousin turned 40. I led the organizing for her surprise birthday celebration to which everybody, thankfully, were cooperative. This is the first time that I edited a video greeting and I am so glad the output turned out fine. We also achieved our goal to make her cry, haha!

We also went back to Kidzania last September with some of my cousins and Johan's cousins. It is always a fun trip whenever we go to Kidzania and I am sure this is going to be an annual thing for us. Hopefully next time the smaller cousins can join us as well.

Johan turned 7 this year and I planned a small surprise birthday celebration for him. We booked the Nicayeren Resort in Batangas that we went to last summer and invited our immediate families to help us surprise Johan. See my post here.

My Papa is a huge fan of Engelbert Humperdinck that when he found out that his idol will be having a concert at the arena close to home, he posted a Facebook status.

After he posted that, my sisters and I immediately checked online if we can afford the tickets, haha! Good thing that the venue near my parents' house did not cost too much, we were able to secure an SVIP ticket for Papa and surprised him the next day when he drove us to Taytay.

Work wise, this is the first time that our team went out of the office to celebrate Christmas. We gathered contributions and asked for pledges so we can have a raffle of some sort. We received a lot of pledges that everybody went home with something! Me and my friend, Fem, also organized a few games to everybody's delight. Seeing everybody having a good time, laughing and thanking us makes all the effort worth it. Credits to my officemates Amiel and Fem for their effort in picking up and buying the raffle prizes and thank you to the whole team for joining the games and for their monetary contribution as well. Next year ulit, guys?

As 2017 is coming to a close, this is also the first time that our family had a staycation on  Christmas Eve. We were able to get discounted vouchers for an overnight stay at Exchange Regency in Ortigas and were lucky enough that we were able to book a room for December 24. My cousin's family sent me a message telling me they will also be staying around Ortigas but their hotel room does not have the same perks as ours at Exchange Regency. My cousin's exact words, "Pwede ba kaming makisaing?" Hahaha! To which I replied, "Bakit makikisaing pa eh di dun na kayo sa amin maki-Noche Buena!". And they did! It was the most fun Christmas Eve ever!

Finally, to cap off the year, my cousins and I together with our husbands and kids trooped to the SM Mall of Asia Arena to watch Disney on Ice: Everyone's Story. I've always wanted to bring the kids here and I'm glad that we get to watch the show with the rest of their cousins. The kids had so much fun! Well, I speak for myself, but I can't help but sing along to the Frozen songs and the Disney Princesses theme songs!

2017 was a great year. Here's to looking forward to what 2018 has to offer! Happy New Year, everyone!!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Febrile Seizure - What is it?

This post is super, super late but I thought before the year ends, I should write about our experience so I can go back to this post whenever I needed to.

First, what is Febrile Seizure?

Taken from the Mayo Clinic page:
A febrile seizure is a convulsion in a child that may be caused by a spike in body temperature, often from an infection. Your child's having a febrile seizure can be alarming, and the few minutes it lasts can seem like an eternity.
 Febrile seizures represent a unique response of a child's brain to fever, usually the first day of a fever. Fortunately, they're usually harmless and typically don't indicate an ongoing problem. You can help by keeping your child safe during a febrile seizure and by comforting him or her afterward.
Call your doctor to have your child evaluated as soon as possible after a febrile seizure.
Febrile seizure symptoms can range from mild — staring — to more severe shaking or tightening of the muscles.
A child having a febrile seizure may:
Have a fever higher than 100.4 F (38.0 C)
Lose consciousness
Shake or jerk arms and legs 
Febrile seizures are classified as simple or complex: 
Simple febrile seizures. This more common type lasts from a few seconds to 15 minutes. Simple febrile seizures do not recur within a 24-hour period and are generalized, not specific to one part of the body.
Complex febrile seizures. This type lasts longer than 15 minutes, occurs more than once within 24 hours or is confined to one side of your child's body.
 Febrile seizures most often occur within 24 hours of the onset of a fever and can be the first sign that a child is ill

Back in February, Jeron had the usual fever. I went to work that morning and left instructions to the yayas to keep on monitoring Jeron's temperature, never miss his medicine schedule and continue giving him sponge baths. When I went home that evening, Jeron still has the fever at 39 degrees. I gave him a sponge bath which brought down his fever to 38 degrees, I cannot sleep that night so I just played on my phone while looking after Jeron. Suddenly, Jeron switched positions and looked like he was about to vomit so I went to him and then the shaking started.

His eyes rolled backwards, both of his arms were shaking. I immediately carried him, brought him to the sink and put water on the top of his head. He was shaking for maybe 10 seconds, I passed him to the Yaya while I went back to the bedroom to fix our things. I'm bringing him to the ER at 11pm, my husband still at work and I was only with one of the yayas. The other yaya stayed home with Johan who I know was so confused and scared that night. He kept on asking me what's happening, I only told him to stay home because I needed to rush Jeron to the ER.

Usually, it would be too hard to get a ride at that hour but luckily for us, as we went out of our gate, a tricycle immediately passed and stopped when the driver saw us. He drove as fast as he can to the ER when I told him it's an emergency. This is the time that Jeron lost consciousness. The Yaya was holding him and I kept on shouting, "Is he still breathing?!". He was so I calmed down a bit and kept on praying loud.

When we arrived at the ER, I had to shout help before any of the staff went to us (Oh this hospital, I've had a few not so good experiences with). One of the residents began interviewing me while the nurses attended to Jeron. They inserted an IV, took blood samples and told me that we had to admit him for further monitoring. The husband arrived after an hour, we went to admissions to get a room and was finally transferred.

We were admitted for five days. In the duration of that time, Jeron's pedia did tests because we were looking for what caused the fever. He didn't have any cough or colds at that time. His Kuya Johan recently had mumps so we were guessing Jeron might have gotten it as well. But there's no swelling on his neck and blood tests returned normal. The pedia wanted to do a lumbar tap, to which we declined. I was very worried about Jeron having to experience that at an early age. I know that the pedia meant well but I didn't see the need to do the procedure. Plus, Jeron has been pricked so many times during our stay at the hospital, he's given blood samples so many times and I saw how stressed my son was everytime a nurse went to our room to get another blood sample. He was on IV antibiotics the entire time and on the fourth day, the swelling appeared. He's got mumps. That is what's causing the fever which manifested late.

We were discharged on our fifth day. Months after that episode, whenever Jeron has a fever, I had to file a leave from work. I was so traumatized after seeing him had a seizure that I had to make sure I was at home in case it happens again.

Things to remember in emergency cases like this:
  1. Do not panic. When Jeron started shaking, I did not panic, I was moving fast. Not panicking allows you to think better on what needs to be done. 
  2. Proper monitoring of the child's fever. Our yayas did not monitor his fever that day, they did not use the thermometer as I instructed. His fever would have shot up to 40 degrees without me knowing. 
  3. Discuss with your pedia. Jeron's pedia is a new one, we had to transfer to Dra. Litao after a bad experience with his previous one. Dra. Litao is a kind doctor, she explains thoroughly what needs to be done, what are the possible causes of his sickness. She was very patient in answering all our questions. 
  4. Keep your kids' HMO cards within reach. Usually, my kids' cards are inside the drawer, on that particular night, call it instinct or whatever, I took out Jeron's HMO card from the drawer and put it inside my bag.
  5. Stay strong for your child. I am scared of needles, despite giving birth via caesarian section twice, I am still scared of getting pricked. When the IV was inserted on Jeron's arm, I felt nauseous but I had to get over my fear so I can take better care of my child.

Now, Jeron is a healthy kid and he never had seizures again, hopefully not ever again.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Giving Love This Christmas Season

Christmas has officially started, it's finally December! I am almost done with my gift list and have started wrapping presents by December 1st. It is my target every year to finish Christmas shopping by end of November to avoid the holiday rush of shoppers and commuters at the malls and on the streets. However, I still haven't bought Christmas giveaways for the people who give our family their services - the kids' Yaya, the prompt school service driver, the always courteous school guards, the efficient canteen lady and our friendly water delivery boy. This is because we are still waiting for our Sodexo Gift certificates.

Annually, me and my husband receive Sodexo Gift Certificates from our respective companies for Christmas. The gift certificates that we receive are what we have been using all these years to give back to the people who have been working loyally for us. We have been buying Spaghetti packs, Hams, Cheese and Fruit Salad ingredients and have them arranged in a festive manner to give away to these great people. At least, I know that they will have something to share with their families come December 24th.

What is great about the Sodexo GCs is that they have always been and forever will be valid, and that revalidation and replacement of Sodexo GC’s are free of charge once the validity date is reached. So, for the past years, the leftover ones from Christmas are what we used to spend for New Year's Eve feast and even for my birthday on January. But this year, I have been thinking of starting a Christmas tradition with the kids. So, I thought of checking out the Merchant's list here on the Sodexo website and I found out that Jollibee is also accepting Sodexo gift certificates. Perfect for what I have in mind!

I remember when I was a kid, our family drove around one Christmas Eve and gave chocolates to the people who were working at the tollgates. It would be great to start a tradition such as that with my kids to remind them of the real meaning of Christmas - to share and to give love. Starting this year, my plan is to buy Jollibee meals, drive around and spread joy on Christmas Eve. I want my kids to realize how blessed they are, how they can help those in need, how they can touch lives no matter how big or small the gesture is. I know that what I have in mind will not change the lives of these people drastically but I am hoping that in our own little way, we will be able to make this Christmas a memorable one for them.

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